What Makes Human Intelligence so Special?

The way the brain stores memories can make us an intelligent species

Neuroscientists have published a study that contradicts the opinion of neuroscience over the past 50 years, arguing that the way we store memories is key to making human intelligence better than animal intelligence.

Much has previously been thought and published that this is a “pattern splitting” in the hippocampus, a critical area of ​​memory in the brain where the memories of individual neuronal groups can be stored so that memories don’t get mixed up.

Director of the University of Leicester Prof Rodrigo Quian Quiroga explains, “Contrary to what everyone expects when recording individual neuronal activity, we have found that there is an alternative pattern-sharing model that preserves our memories.

“Pattern separation is the basic principle of neural coding that blocks memory impairment in the hippocampus. Its existence is supported by various theoretical, computational, and experimental findings in various animal species, but these findings have never been directly replicated in humans.”

“Previous studies in humans primarily used Functional Magnetic Resource Imagination (fMRI), which does not record the activity of individual neurons. Amazingly, we found something completely different from what was described in other animals when the activity of individual neurons was recorded directly. This could be. become the foundation of human intelligence. “

The  ”No pattern separation” Study in the Human Hippocampus argues that the lack of segregation of patterns in memory coding is a major difference from other species, which has profound implications that could explain uniquely developed cognitive abilities in humans, such as our strengths. generalization and creative mind.

Quiroga believes that we need to go beyond the comparison of behavior between humans and animals and seek more mechanistic insights by asking what creates a unique and rich repertoire of human cognitive function in our brains.

Quiroga argues that brain size or the number of neurons cannot simply explain the difference, since there are, for example, comparable numbers and types of neurons in the chimpanzee and human brain, both of which have roughly identical anatomical structures. Hence, our neurons, or at least some of them, have to do something completely different, and one of the differences is in the way they store our memories

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